Cabrera placed on DL with sprained thumb

Mets add Ramirez to reinforce bullpen

Cabrera placed on DL with sprained thumb

PHOENIX -- Asdrubal Cabrera's sprained-thumb saga came to an end on Tuesday, when the Mets placed their starting shortstop on the 10-day disabled list with the injury, retroactive to Sunday.

"He thought he was going to need some days to finally, totally heal," manager Terry Collins said.

The move gave the Mets room to add reliever Neil Ramirez to their active roster, expanding the bullpen back to eight relievers. More importantly, it should give Cabrera ample time to heal a thumb that he initially sprained on May 6. To that end, Cabrera intends to be ready when eligible to return from the DL on May 25.

"I hope I'll be ready," he said. "I like to play, to be there. But it's something that I don't feel like I can help the team like this."

Initially, Cabrera attempted to play through his injury, hitting into a double play and striking out with the bases loaded in two of his first three pinch-hit opportunities. He returned to the starting lineup Friday, but aggravated the injury the following afternoon.

Overall, Cabrera hit .222 with three strikeouts in nine at-bats while attempting to play through the sprain. Had the Mets placed him on the DL at the time of his injury, Cabrera would have been eligible to return on Wednesday.

In Cabrera's absence, Jose Reyes will start regularly at shortstop, with T.J. Rivera and Wilmer Flores filling in at third base. The Mets hope the move will help spark Reyes, who is batting just .130 with a .361 OPS since May 7.

"I'm hoping that he's breaking out of it," Collins said. "Obviously, playing shortstop makes him more comfortable."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.